Dec. 20, 2009
Virginia National Guard authorized to bring up to 600 more Soldiers and Airmen for duty to provide winter storm assistance
Virginia Guard News Release
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine authorized an additional 600 National Guardsmen to participate in response to the severe winter weather across the state, bringing the total number of Soldiers authorized for duty to 1,000. The Virginia Guard expects to have more than 750 Soldiers and Airmen on duty throughout the state by Sunday afternoon.
Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Richmond-based Company B, 429th Brigade Support Battalion use a heavy wrecker Dec. 20 to assist a tractor-trailer truck out of the snow in Charlottesville. The Virginia National Guard has Soldiers on state active duty in order to assist state and local agencies in response to severe winter weather across the state. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard) Please visit the Virginia Guard Flickr page for more photos.
“The Virginia National Guard continues to assist state and local agencies across the commonwealth with rescuing stranded motorists, transporting critical supplies, assisting with sheltering operations and transporting patients and health care professionals,” said Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, the Adjutant General of Virginia.
Newman explained that the Virginia National Guard receives mission through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management based on requests from local emergency response organizations, and any citizens who feel they need support from the Guard should make their request through their local first responders, not directly to the Guard.
This support mission is an example of how the Virginia Guard continues to balance the demands of federal mobilizations with being prepared for state active duty missions as well as how the two missions in many ways support each other. “Just as our Soldiers and Airmen bring their experience from state active duty and their civilian careers to combat operations, our experience on federal active duty also betters prepares us to conduct support missions here at home,” Newman said. “The communications and mission tracking equipment we use in combat operations is put to use in a state mission like this one, and the experience Soldiers and Airmen gain from their time on active duty helps in their ability to conduct operations in the commonwealth.”
Virginia National Guard missions planned for Sunday, Dec. 20:
- Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Brigade Combat Team are scheduled to assist Virginia State Police with waking stranded motorists along I-81 in an effort to get traffic moving.
- Airmen from the Virginia Beach-based 203d RED HORSE Civil Engineering Squadron are scheduled to transport cots to Wise County.
- Helicopters from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment are standing by for aerial reconnaissance missions.
- Soldiers from the Portsmouth-based 2nd Battalion, 183rd Cavalry Regiment are moving to the Farmville Readiness Center in order to provide assistance to local agencies.
- Soldiers from the Hampton-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment are moving to Staunton and Ruckersville to provide assistance to local agencies.
- Soldiers from the Danville-based 429th Brigade Support Battalion has Soldiers on duty in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Radford, Charlottesville, and Lovingston continue to support state and local agencies with missions such transporting food, water, blankets and other supplies, transporting stranded motorists and health care professionals and sheltering operations.
- Soldiers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Staunton, Covington, Radford, Roanoke, Stafford, Wytheville and Lexington continue to support state and local agencies with missions such transporting food, water, blankets and other supplies, transporting stranded motorists and health care professionals and sheltering operations.
Virginia National Guard missions conducted in the last 48 hours:
- Approximately 36 Soldiers and Airmen are on duty 24 hours a day at the Virginia National Guard Joint Operations Center in Sandston in order to conduct the necessary communications, planning and mission tracking to coordinate the Guard’s state-wide response effort.
- Five Soldiers, four Airmen and two members of the Virginia Defense Force are on duty 24 hours a day at the Virginia Emergency Operations Center in Richmond as members of the Virginia Emergency Response Team, with the mission of coordinating military support between the Virginia Guard Joint Operations Center and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, other state agencies and local communities.
- Soldiers from the Staunton-based Headquarters, 116th Brigade Combat Team assisted with the transport of more than 30 stranded motorists along mile markers 175 to 195 along I-81, assisted with establishing and operating a shelter in Rockbridge County, transported more than 15 nurses and doctors to hospital facilities and assisted with multiple vehicle recoveries along highways and interstates.
- Soldiers from the Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (also with Soldiers from Woodstock, and Harrisonburg) moved to the Lexington armory overnight and are assisting local authorities to recover stranded motorists, aide isolated residents, and move essential personnel.
- Soldiers from Chatham-based Company A, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team rescued nearly 20 stranded motorists along Routes 29, 151, 722, 117 and 6, conducted search and rescue missions along Afton Mountain Road and Stage Bridge Road.
- Soldiers from the Charlottesville-based Company C, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team assisted with transporting approximately 35 citizens to shelters, transported 168 gallons of water and 350 heater meals to Lexington, delivered 100 blankets to a shelter in Nelson County and assisted with patient transport from Standardsville to a local hospital.
- Soldiers from the Lynchburg-based Company E, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team assisted with sheltering operations in Lexington, delivered supplies to a shelter in Rockbridge County and assisted with transporting rescued motorist stranded along I-81.
- Soldiers from the Gate City-based 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group assisted with transporting rescued stranded motorists to shelters in Clintwood and Norton, and conducted search and rescue mission in the Flatwoods National Forest.
- Soldiers from the Fredricksburg-based Company D, 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team have been operating in the Stafford area where they rescued a first responder from a vehicle stuck in a ditch, transported medical professionals including a nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist and assisted with the recover of six ambulances and a fire truck.
- Soldiers from the Leesburg-based Company C, 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team are operating in the Leesburg area assisting in the movement of key personnel to critical facilities such police stations and hospitals.